Top Chef Episode 11 Recap

Yes, we're just watching it now.  Don't tease us.

Open on Ed walking around in Tiffany's floor-length yellow maxi dress.  Amanda thinks Angelo's weird, which may be true, but at least he can cook.  Zing!  Later he says she's a "dark horse," even though other chefs talk trash about her.  Aww, how you gonna feel about saying bad stuff about him NOW, Amanda!

The Quickfire: Rick Moonen is in the house for a seafood challenge.  Challenge Food Idioms. A dish inspired by idioms that are around for the taking, including Hide the Salami, The Big Cheese, Hot Potato, and Spill the Beans.  Winner gets their meal in a frozen Schwan's situation.

Amanda, The Big Cheese, wants to put together an awesome mac & cheese--with a side of pork chop.  Tiffany, Spill the Beans, figures beans + fish = awesome.  Kevin, Bring Home the Bacon, is making bacon three ways--but froth can't be frozen.  Ed, Hot Potato, is making gnocchi in an hour.  Sounds good and looks good, too.  Kelly, Sour Grapes, did a grilled chicken with a grape sauce or something.

Rick's least favorites were Kelly's chicken/Brussels sprouts/grape puree and Amanda's heavy-handed dish.  His favorites were Kevin's (much to Angelo's surprise, not to mine--that with the most bacon usually wins) and Ed's fab gnocchi spring dish.  Obv Ed wins because his makes the best frozen meal, which I could have told you.

Elimination Challenge: Take Me Out To The Ballgame, serving high end concession stand food at Nats Stadium.  Team challenge, which isn't so awesome.  Kelly is bossing everyone around, like she's some sort of team leader.  Last time she took charge she ended up winning.  I think there's going to be some tension between what's more baseball food, and the more high-end stuff.  Amanda's making tuna tartare--this seems like a bad idea.  Raw, outdoors, large quantities, potential heat...sounds gross.

Angelo decided he'll take the orders, because they aren't sure if they have staff.  Then he realizes he can't cook, plate, and take orders at the same time.  Ed is going to take care of Angelo's pork dish for him.  Amanda's tuna is starting to oxidize and turn gray.  Ew.  Told ya.

Long lines, ballplayers jokin' around (and loving the meatballs from Tiffany, obvs), and Padma in uniform. 

Too much stuff at the house.  Too much background, like this is part reality show and part cooking competition.  Not interested.  Don't care.  Showing the stew room while other people are at Judge's Table?  Stop that.  You too, Project Runway.

Kelly's open-face crabcake sandwich, Tiffany's meatball sub, Amanda's tuna tartare

Everybody went into Judges' Table at once.  First was a long boring explanation/argument about Angelo being expediter.  The judges liked Ed's molten aroncini and Tiffany's messy juicy meatballs.  Ed pulls out the win with his 500+ risotto balls.  He gets Chef Moonen's cookbook (zzzz) and A TRIP TO AUSTRALIA.  Jealous?

The judges liked that Amanda tried to do something different, and her veggies were nicely cooked. She looks flabbergasted.  Kevin's chicken was boring, and too short for the skewer.  I always felt like the skewer was more an easy way to cook and handle it, and less of a lollipop sort of thing.  I never go end-first into my mouth with a sharp skewer!  Kelly's was too salty, but I know they didn't hate it as much as the others.  Angelo's was too sweet, his proportions were off with the bread (and he owns a sandwich shop!), and they felt sad about it generally.  Amanda goes home.  Finally.  Since bothering me in Episode 3, she's gone nowhere but downhill in my mind. She's all rationalizations on her way out (I'm the only sous chef here, competition was really fierce, yada yada).

Quote of the Ep is between two:  "I could actually see his face on the packaging.  He kind of looks like a potato."  Angelo on Ed, who won the quickfire (and thus will have his dish made into a frozen Schwan's dinner).   "Raw fish at a stadium--that takes some baseballs."  Rick Moonen.

And, bonus information:  Top Chef won the Emmy for best reality show.  Congrats, guys!


  1. buh-bye, amanda. your dish failed the "even i would know better" test. tuna tartare at a baseball game? i'm all for trying something unexpected, but there were way too many places for that to go wrong.

    i've really come to like tiffany and am rooting for her. i also like ed more than i did originally. nobody owns my heart, though. (at this point last season i was feverishly devoted to mike voltaggio.)

  2. So bad. SO bad. Tiffany is my favorite, but I'm not as gung-ho for her as I was for BVolt last year (Mike is too "bad boy" for me, L). I also really liked Kevin and Jen. Goal for tonight: watch Project Runway. Whyyyy is it an hour and a half?!

  3. So this episode is very close to my heart...because I was IN IT!!! (Watch minute 34 - I'm wearing a dark blue t-shirt and talking with a group of people!)

    That being said, I cannot believe those aroncini won! They were BORING and BLAND. I was so disapointed! You couldn't taste the shrimp at all!

    But the meatball sub was definitely good. And the tuna tartare tasted good, but just didn't fit the challenge at all!

    So those are my two cents...

  4. Whooa you scored an invite, fancy pants? The We Love DC post let the cat out of the bag that the game wasn't actually going on and the stadium was empty. Nice editing, Bravo!